02/12/2020 - 19:30

RISE: Water business makes a splash

02/12/2020 - 19:30

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It's been less than three years since Suzanne Dodds launched Complete Home Filtration, which allows customers to access filtered water from every tap on their property.

But already she has thousands of customers and a healthy bottom line, something which makes her the envy of other disuptors across the country.

At the RISE Business Awards, Ms Dodds' company took out the Startup of the Year award because of its strong growth in revenue, its disruptive business plan and its potential to scale.

And, while she is concentrating most of her efforts on conquering Australia with the main product, she also has a side project aimed at treating water contaminated with PFAS that is showing promising results.

Born in Northern Ireland, Ms Dodds set up her first business - an event marketing company - when she was just 24 and parlayed that experience into a career in South Korea with international marketing company The Cobra Group.

There, she managed a business that turned over $US30 million and employed more than 160 people.

In 2006, she moved to Perth with her young family and established water filtration business Call a Cooler, which eventually expanded to the east coast. 

But after a course of study, she returned to the water industry in 2018 with Complete Home Filtration and has already expanded to a position where the business has 26 full-time-equivalent staff.

Complete Home Filtration designs, builds and installs its water filtration products in WA, which are fitted to homes to ensure the entire house has access to filtered water for drinking, bathing and cooking.

COVID-19 caused a significant fall in sales in April, but a change in marketing strategy to focus on heatlh, wellness and home improvements saw demand for the product soar again from May.

At the same time, and with the support of both the Department of Defence and Curtin University, Complete Home Filtration has been working on a filter to remove PFAS from home water systems.

This new invention won Ms Dodds an accelerating commercialisation grant in 2019 and funds from the Defence Science Centre. She also took out the WiTWA Tech+[20] First Among Equals Award.

Over the course of the next 18 months, Complete Home Filtration is expected to be launched in Brisbane and Adelaide, with projections showing a tripling of domestic revenues as a result.  The PFAS product is aimed at 90 contamination sites in Australia, including 26 connected to the Department of Defence, providing a market worth an estimated $450 million. In the US, that market is estimated at $11 billion, with 110 million Americans said to be drinking water contaminated with PFAS.

 

 

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